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AbsolutelyN

Starless Horse Head Nebula

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The Horse Head Nebula just under the left hand star of the belt of Orion (the brightest star in this image - it's rotated 90 degrees i.e. north is left). It's 1400 light years away. This is two frames stitched together for wider field of view with Esprit 80, 5.5 hour exposure in total (both exposures combined in bortle 5). ZWO 1600MM with ZWO HA filter, 300 sec exposures at gain 200 offset 50. Two frames from Esprit 80 combined. The stars digitally removed with starnet so that you can better see the structure of the nebula.

High res: https://www.astrobin.com/full/6ra6mx/0/?nc=user

 

HorseHead_Starless.jpg

 

Original image:

https://www.astrobin.com/ou5x3g/?nc=user

 

Flame-and-Horse-Head---2-panel-mosaic.thumb.jpg.52483bf2ae54cb4ccbfedb7809922313.jpg

Edited by AbsolutelyN
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38 minutes ago, tooth_dr said:

Stunning. That’s all I can say 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Thanks, first attempt at a mosaic which was easier than expected and first image I'm captured that I possibly prefer as a starless (especially as it was captured between showers). 

Edited by AbsolutelyN
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I'm not usually a fan of starless images, but  I do like this.  I can see structures that I haven't seen/noticed before.  Nice.

 

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1 hour ago, don4l said:

I can see structures that I haven't seen/noticed before.

I agree entirely.

Part of me feels that if the object of the exercise is to image the nebula then it is the nebula I want to see. If we have the means to remove the stars (which I am not trying to image) then why not? - especially if it helps to reveal detail and structure that was not as apparent with the stars present.

I've done my own starless Horsehead and Orion image but have been hesitant to post. Well done to @AbsolutelyN for sharing this excellent and revealing image.

Maybe there should be a separate Starless Thread for those who like starless images - no stars allowed ;) - a star-free zone.

Adrian

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I love the picture with stars in.  Not keen on the starless one, and I don’t like starless pictures, it’s like the sea with no fish.....!   good to share though for interests sake.

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I think I prefer stars in but the starless one is certainly fantastic, really superb.  Which software did you use to process it?

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Before I saw this image I would have said I don't like starless images. But in this instance I completely disagree with myself.  It'a an absolutely majestic image. The detail is amazing, I can't believe it's only a 5.5hr exposure.  Brilliant, love it!

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Stunning, hoping to capture this when I can see it. Starnet makes for an amazing image. What's a single frame look like with the 80 as it's the same as I have.

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56 minutes ago, Gina said:

I think I prefer stars in but the starless one is certainly fantastic, really superb.  Which software did you use to process it?

Thanks Gina, it's processed in PixInsight with Starnet

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45 minutes ago, vineyard said:

That starless image is Wagnerian.  Wow.

Thanks! It reminds me personally of the epic paintings of English Romantic Painter John Martin 

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I realy like the starless image its captivating to view....I agree with Adrian in that a starless thread would be nice.

Alan

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30 minutes ago, AbsolutelyN said:

Thanks! It reminds me personally of the epic paintings of English Romantic Painter John Martin 

I had exactly the same thought before I read your comment. Especially as last week I was in front of the below massive original in Huddersfield Library / Art Gallery

https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/joshua-commanding-the-sun-to-stand-still-upon-gibeon-21810

 

Jeff

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27 minutes ago, Jeff Marsden said:

I had exactly the same thought before I read your comment. Especially as last week I was in front of the below massive original in Huddersfield Library / Art Gallery

https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/joshua-commanding-the-sun-to-stand-still-upon-gibeon-21810

 

Jeff

I didn't know he had any images in Huddersfield, will have to pop in and have a look, thanks for that.  The Great Day of His Wrath and Destruction of Pompeii are the ones that inspired me since first seeing them in books.  

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1 hour ago, AndyThilo said:

Stunning, hoping to capture this when I can see it. Starnet makes for an amazing image. What's a single frame look like with the 80 as it's the same as I have.

This is a single frame from the mosaic, about 20% overlap at a guess

light-FILTER_HA-BINNING_1-Recovered-copy.jpg

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Superb, probably my fav nebulas, the HH & Flame. I love both images, with and without stars. 

Without it's definitely easier to focus on the clouds and gasses and look at the structure and detail but both great. 

Images like this completely remove the idea of upgrading to an OSC (from DSLR) out of the question. I'd imagine there's no way can you get this level of detail in an OSC given the same integration time and Ha filter.

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Beautiful image, with and without stars!

Which software did you use to stitch the mosaic?

In my own experiments with Starnet++, I use it a different way. If you subtract the starless image from the original in Photoshop (using the apply image function), you end up with a nearly perfect star mask. The untouched stars can then be added back after processing.

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33 minutes ago, Taman said:

Beautiful image, with and without stars!

Which software did you use to stitch the mosaic?

In my own experiments with Starnet++, I use it a different way. If you subtract the starless image from the original in Photoshop (using the apply image function), you end up with a nearly perfect star mask. The untouched stars can then be added back after processing.

Thank you. Mosaic was created in PixInsight. From what you say I think we use starnet in a similar way, I use it more for images with stars than starless images  - I'll have a go at the mask tip thanks.  

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I appreciate the beauty of the Starless version but for me, if there are stars there, then leave them, even with the trials and tribulations of Alnitak.

The capture of the nebulosity is superb, congrats.

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1 hour ago, Jkulin said:

I appreciate the beauty of the Starless version but for me, if there are stars there, then leave them, even with the trials and tribulations of Alnitak.

The capture of the nebulosity is superb, congrats.

Thanks - and yes I completely agree if stars are there then generally leave them. I think leeway to alter or 'enhance' images in astrophotography is an interesting topic though as often what you are photographing is not visible to human eye or even visible in visible bandwidths so the image becomes an interpretation of what is there. You can use a specific filter to isolate a specific wavelength. Starless is kind of just digitally blocking the stars to isolate other parts of the image.  False colour for example is often pushed to the extreme and personally I find this can at times bothers me more than a starless image in terms of image tinkering. There are as many opinions as possibilities and everyone will have their own personal preferences. In this one all I was trying to highlight are structures you can't see as easily in an aesthetically pleasing way. 

Edited by AbsolutelyN
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I think one way to look at it is that this is an image of the hydrogen nebulosity and therefore the stars are not part of it.  The fact that stars emit hydrogen wavelengths is irrelevant.

Edited by Gina

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